LETTER: New Jersey City BOE Trustee Fernandez stresses community involvement


In a letter to the editor, new Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Luis Felipe Fernandez is stressing community involvement in the school district.

Luis Felipe Fernandez (middle) speaks at a press event in October.
Luis Felipe Fernandez (middle) speaks at a press event in October.

Dear editor,

Jersey City is home to more than 27,000 public school students. Each with great dreams and untapped potential. Nine members of the Board of Education give leadership and oversight to their education.

Now I am one of them. I never saw myself included in their process. I never saw myself as a leader in the education of my neighbors’ children; I thought that was only for educators and people in the main office. I was wrong.

I have a voice that can serve the children in our district. You also have a voice. Just like me maybe you feel you were not included in the education of our city’s students, but you can be. Maybe you feel you don’t have enough time to give or experience to share, but you do.

We all play a role in the success of our public schools. Our commitment to make them better serves all children in this diverse city we call home.

If we engage with our time and our voices, our schools get better. And if our schools succeed, we all succeed. Do not sell yourself short. Unite with our schools to make them the best schools in the nation.

We all can help. It’s as easy as ABC:

Be Available: If you are a parent make sure you are available for your children’s teachers and school administrators. See the time you give as an investment in their lives and the lives of your children’s classmates.

Involved parents and caring adults make a huge difference in the development of our students.

Be Benevolent: Be kind and respectful to all people in the district. Even if you disagree with them, you can still work together.

At the end we all have the same goal. even though our approaches may be different, we can put our interests as adults aside for the interest of our children.

Be Consistent: Consistency goes a long way in a child’s world. Especially in our city where inconsistency is the only constant for too many children. So only commit to what you can do; don’t over commit. See yourself as an asset, not as a bystander.

For example, if you can just give one hour a month to volunteer in your local school, that’s great. Start there and increase your commitment at your own pace.

I am happy to know I can be a part of the change in our schools. I see myself as one of the many people that really care for our students. That’s why I also want to congratulate my fellow new board members Sudhan Thomas and Angel Valentin.

I believe that if we work united as one Jersey City we will see progress in our students and in our schools. I am looking forward to work together with all board members who have volunteered their time to make our schools better. United we can accomplish anything.

Join in and be a part of the change.

Finally, I would like to thank all of those voters and supporters who put their trust in me. Also thanks to the outstanding Jersey City United campaign team including RJ Harper, Leda Duif, Uche Akpa, James Solomon, and especially my running mates, Asmaa Abdalla and Matt Schapiro.

Thanks for pushing me to be part of the change and not to stay idle.

Pastor Luis Fernandez – fernandez4jcboe@gmail.com
School Board Member Jersey City

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  1. I’m absolutely tired of unscientific “feel goodism.”

    “If only everyone gets involved our educational system will change for the better.”

    That’s really going to happen, not. We have to presume that people will continue to behave exactly as they were behaving yesterday. Anything else is our politicians lying or stupid. It is the responsibility of our elected officials to effect change. Throwing it back on the parents is a subterfuge and just exposes that this guy has no ideas. Basing public policy on something that will never happen is ridiculous.

    I’ve talked to my vice-principle and principle (PS 23). I’ve attended all Parent Association meetings and come to events. Nothing has changed. These quacks have to be thrown out beginning with superintendent Lyle. Peer reviewed studies of the Common Core prove that it does not work. But our Board of Education ignores science. BTW her income puts her into the top richest 5%. She does not care about our students and like King Midas is turning our children into gold.

    The problem is essentially the overpowering momentum of modernism. I say this as a postmodernist. Example: we keep on assigning the same old Spanish classes but no student, teacher or administrator has ever learned how to speak Spanish from these courses. Yet, like zombies, we keep on assigning them year after year. Traditional teaching of “conversational Spanish” does not work. This is scientifically proven and confirmed by everyone who has ever taken one of these courses. Even students who score well in these classes know that they can’t speak the languages they were supposedly taught. Students should be taught how to read foreign languages with first children’s books the same way children in all countries learn how to read.


    We all know that if a child learns to love reading, they will do fine, however, teachers that do not love to read, will never be able to teach children to love reading. They should also be assigned books that children want to read if we want them to learn to love reading. When I was in school I didn’t read anything they assigned but was reading my own books under my desk and my teachers looked the other way. They knew I was smart. But I wasn’t reading their garbage. The reading program of the Common Core is stupid to create stupid. Assigning reading that children cannot understand or are not interested in causes them to hate reading. Is this so difficult to understand?

    The entire point of scientific mathematics on the level of algebra is “fitting quadratic equations to data.” Students always ask, “What the heck is math for? And I think they deserve an intelligent answer. For example, Galileo’s equation for gravity can be easily and simply derived by any student using this method. Ask anyone how to derive Galileo’s equation for gravity and modernists have no idea. Science and mathematics is a mystery to modernists and even to highly educated mathematicians. In fact, the Common Core doesn’t even teach “fitting quadratic equations to data.” It’s a scam.

    Real science in education fulfills the role of science as science does everywhere, it is to make life easier. To make comprehension easier, not to obscure knowledge. To make education enjoyable, not to increase workload. The object of science is to increase leisure time not reduce it. Turning our schools into sweatshops is not an answer.

    BTW my daughter loves to read and is doing fine, however, not due to Common Core. I home schooled her to 4th grade and I’m ready to continue home schooling her anytime she wants. She’s a free human being. The modernist presumption that a child will leave school if given half a chance is a lie. She also has a very good understanding of postmodernism and the absurdity of modernism for a 10-year-old kid. She’s way ahead of the other students and even her teachers. And anyone who has college educated parents will do fine as well. I can see that. However, the Common Core basically throws the working class, under educated and non-English speakers “under the bus.” If that’s what you want, that’s what we’re going to get.

    What we really need less “feel good” modernism and more scientific logic. To begin with, if there is no scientific evidence supporting the Common Core it should be thrown out. I am not for going back to old systems. I am not against national education systems or even standardized testing but it has to be a system that works. I’m against stupidity in the name corporate profit at our children’s expense.